Death of the White Knight Cop

I grew up in an era, and maybe the place, where the neighborhood police officer was revered by many, and feared by the rest. To me, as a prankster of a young man who teetered on lawless, the lawman commanded respect.

Nothing I had ever done was really bad, especially by today’s standards, but I had soaked up my share of beer while in high school, and even TP’ed a few houses. Okay, more than a few.

It really wasn’t a big leap for me to go from my military service, which began because I was simply a rebellious post high school kid who wanted an easy way to get out from Mom and Dad’s house, to someone who learned discipline during a 4 year stint in an elite military unit, and then joined civilian law enforcement after.

Fast forward nearly 30 years and so much has changed. The revered or feared local cop has been replaced by a person who is less prepared but more challenged than ever, fighting for the very soul of your neighborhood, your community, your nation.

You made him this way. You made him who he is now as opposed to who he was before. The revolving door justice system, where prisoners give up no comfort whatsoever and then are quickly released, creates no fear of consequence. The liberal education system creates the beta-cop who enters with diminished standards of performance simply because of his or her ethnic identity, who frequently cannot fight the hardened criminal element, cannot shoot, cannot test, but still is shuttled into positions out of society’s sense of fairness.

Still, in spite of this, there are battle-ready police who make it onto the force. The percentages are lower, but they still exist. The real question is, what is in their minds?

What would you think if your president, in the earliest days of his tenure, referred to police who were called to a scene, and simply tried to identify someone who was actually breaking into his own house, to insure he was the homeowner, as stupid? And has never let up with the anti-police rhetoric since?

What would you think if you worked at a Department where your local politicians routinely accused your entire profession of misconduct and systematic racism, even while statistics clearly showed you were being attacked far more frequently from those the politicians defend? Which you already knew, because you had been living those attacks? And then, when someone believe those politicians, shot and killed two of your friends, your coworkers, honorable men?

What would you think if appointed politicians – read: Police Chiefs, Commissioners – were placed in charge of you, and then formed “associations” that were routinely quoted by the media as indicative of your voice, in speaking blatant and dangerous falsehoods on behalf of their liberal political masters?

What would you think if your police captain, despite two officers being shot, clocked out and went home? What would you think if your police commanders who acted that disconnected were shuttled into their positions because of their ethnicity and someone’s idea of fairness?

These things aren’t so unusual in the police world. In fact, when these things hit the news, around the entire nation officers say “Yeah, that’s not surprising.”

So fast forward to Beyonce and her shenanigans in the Super Bowl, glorification of a movement that calls for the death of police nationwide, and her video that seems to perpetuate YET ANOTHER lie about police. Beyonce goes on tour and there seems to be at least some resistance to providing security for her concerts. I know *I* will not voluntarily do it. And many officers I know have said the same thing.

A few officers are breaking out the rhetoric, the King Arthur “I will do what I have to do to protect my citizens and uphold the law” White Knight slogans, and I’m sure those few actually do believe it. But they’re misguided about me, and why I am who I am.

Here’s the real truth.

I am not a puppet.

I have honor, but it’s not honor for me to suffer for the amusement of the criminal element, and it’s not honor for me to be sacrificed on the altar of politics. I am a person who serves people who wish me to serve them. I can’t be anything more than that, and neither can the few remaining White Knight cops; they just don’t know it yet.

I listen to Hillary and Bernie talk all manner of trash about us still, perpetuating lies and acting like tiny percentages of our profession are indicative of vast corruption, and simply isn’t the truth of what is happening in our communities. I’m afraid things won’t get better.

Whether the cop serves you, or not, is up to you.

– Copzilla

Newspeak

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Humans are interesting creatures and language is even more interesting. We socialize in groups and clusters, as we become more familiar with our groups our defenses lower and our language changes. We say things to close friends we would never say to a complete stranger, inflection, tone and context take on substance and hold weight. If I tell my close friend he is “being an asshole” it holds a completely different meaning than if I call the guy who just cut me off in traffic an asshole.

We’ve managed to make it this far through history navigating the pitfalls of socializing and language. While it isn’t always pretty, I think it has worked out pretty good in the big scheme. The chances that you go through life without being offended are pretty slim, the chances that you will get over it, are pretty good……or they used to be.

In an interesting evolution of culture and language, society is experiencing a quirk (at least I hope it is a quirk) of super sensitivity. While we have become more “social” than ever before, we are more isolated than I have ever seen. I can’t point to a specific time or place where things changed, but in my lifetime alone I have seen a major shift in how we interact. From face-to-face, to telephone to text and social media it seems we are moving backwards faster than we move forward and yet we label this constant sharing as progress. Cat videos aside, the social experiment that has been labeled “social media” seems to be driving the collective “US” further apart than ever.

e8d5d05a_shutterstock_80726956.xxxlarge_2xPeople are offended by EVERYTHING, and somehow that has become society’s new problem. Suddenly we need to stop language which “might possibly” offend someone, somewhere. Now if I call my friend an asshole and someone over hears my comment and they either know an asshole, or happen to be an asshole they can be offended by my micro-aggression even though it was not directed at their personal asshole issue in anyway shape or form.

WHAT THE HELL? Today I saw this article on the Washington Examiner about the new website launched by the University of Michigan-Flint where “students who experience any form of bias or micro-aggressions whatsoever” can report like a bunch of little assholes. The phrase “Orwellian dystopia” gets thrown around too often, but holy crap, this is it writ large.

We will now have to monitor our language to avoid these pitfalls. Public language will need to morph into some sort of “newspeak” to avoid any transgressions. Pronouns will need to be modified or excluded to avoid offending the gender sensitive. More and more reporting websites like the one at UM-Flint will pop up at campus’ and work places across the country allowing people to report offenses. To enforce the offenses and right the wronged “thought police” will likely form to investigate each and every transgression and punishment will need to be severe in order to stop these flagrant offenders.

In the end, casual conversation will be forever changed, the trust and understanding which develops among close friends will vanish out of necessity and survival as the world descends into a gray monotone fog of superfluous non-offensive words. In short, you wont be able to tell your friend he is an asshole even if he is being one.
-Doc

“Debating” Candidates with Trump Supporters

Once upon a time, the word “debate” meant offering an idea and then providing supporting evidence to back that idea while someone who had an opposing opinion did the same for their side.  Sadly, over the years, especially in politics and public opinion, the concept of debate has given way to the concept that whoever yells the loudest, or feigns injury the best, wins.

This has never been more true than now, when it comes to discussing presidential candidates, and in particular, Donald Trump.

I have never been a Trump fan for a number of reasons, but I am friends with a number of people who are, including a few relatives, including at least one of the admins here.  As such, I try my best to not be insulting when discussing him, but I also do not shy away from voicing my opinion.

On our FB page, I recently posted the following and shared the accompanying video:

Please folks, take a few seconds, get beyond his sound bytes and look at his history. Ask yourself, which is more plausible, that he has suddenly changed his mind on all of the major topics, or that he is lying and saying what people want to hear.
-Matt 

As I expected it would, my comment and the video caused some conversation.  Several Trump supporters voiced their opinions.  Some did so in a calm, rational manner, but others could not be bothered with such trivialities.  As an example of those who could not, I offer Jon Strydom here, who eventually got himself banned.

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Thus far, nothing too uncivilized, but it is obvious that neither of us is going to change the other’s mind, so I politely asked him to stop.  Sadly, he could not, and instead he chose to go on the attack.

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Yup, he clearly pissed me off.  That said, I never told him he had to agree with me, nor did I tell him he was not allowed his own opinion.  In fact, quite the contrary, I told him he was entitled to his opinion but that we were clearly not going to agree, which we clearly do not.  Then, in quite Trump-like fashion, he came back and tried to play the victim, and cast me as the bad guy.  Additionally, in an attempt to hide his remarks, he did not reply in the above conversation, as he had done so up to this point, but instead replied to the original post.

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Well Jon, you are indeed free to express yourself, but do so elsewhere (freedom of speech does not apply to privately owned FB pages or websites).  You were not banned for having a different opinion, or for not agreeing with me.  You were banned because you are an arrogant, condescending ass who could not just drop it when repeatedly asked.  As I said before, your behavior is very reminiscent of your chosen presidential candidate, and that behavior is precisely why I will never vote for him.

Sadly, the longer this election season goes on, the more I find it reminiscent of Idiocracy.
-Matt

He only had a knife!

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Today, I saw a meme (see below) made by our friend Salty Dad. The pictures are gruesome, there are no special effects and I don’t know the story behind them. These are pictures of Police Officers who have been on the wrong end of a knife wielding assailant. Look at them for a little bit, let the reality of the story sink in a little. This is real, this is un-sanitized reality and maybe in a couple cases, life altering. This is not week night TV series corn syrup and latex.

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Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan TV serials. I love old Westerns, The Rifleman, Bonanza, The Lone Ranger, and the cheesy cop shows like TJ Hooker, Miami Vice and SWAT. They were fun but not real. Some of the newer shows are enjoyable but they lack the romance of the old shows, they exchange romance for grit and pseudo reality. Week after week one thing you can count on, however, is the bad guy being brought to justice.hqdefault

The gun toting leviathans of TV drama could turn, draw, shoot from the hip and always knock away the gun or knife from an assailant. Current shows display the awesome power of the stun gun; one slight ZAP to the neck and the “shock-ee” is down for the count, waking up in a fog sometime later. Damn I wish that world was real life how very simple it would be. The evil-doers would always get their day in court after a short hospital stint for a flesh wound or a minor ass-whooping. Simplicity at its finest and most pure……sadly, the real world is far more complex.

Which brings up again the never ending cry “Why didn’t they just shoot him in the leg, arm, hand…wherever?” Or another fan favorite “He was only armed with a knife.” It seems no matter how many times this topic comes up one side is never satisfied with the answer. Unsurprisingly its the same side who believes everyone gets a trophy, diversity is always good and giving away other people’s money will right the wrongs of the world. These same people have never had to fight for their lives against a crazed drug addict or a repeat criminal who does not want to go back to prison. These people can no more wrap their brain around true evil than I can the idea of “free government cell phones”. Look back at those pictures again and tell me it was “only a knife”.

Time and time again this argument comes and goes. Time after time it stays unresolved festering until the next incident when the cries begin like the slow wail of an angry child, building until their face turns red and they can squeeze out a few token tears to sell their case.

I wonder how many of these people have ever seen the result of a real knife wound, not the kind you get when your cutting your bagel and the kitchen knife slips. Not the kind you see in the movie when someone gets stabbed in the gut and not even the stunning visual effects of modern cinema. How many have seen the real honest result of a vicious knife attack?

I have, as have most cops. Its not pretty, its not clean and its not always survivable. Knife wounds
can leave massive disfiguring wounds, they can cause irreparable damage to soft tissue, they can cleave bone and destroy ligaments leaving a limb useless. The blood……the blood. How to describe the blood…..its everywhere. There is so much blood it is hard to describe, sure gunshot wounds bleed, some are worse than others it depends on many factors. Knife wounds however gush, spew and pump blood into a horrific mess worthy of a slasher movie.

A few years ago I responded to call for an injured person. One of my partners arrived first and discovered a car at a gas station. It was in this car where the wounded person was located, the interior of the car was literally bathed in blood and as we discovered there were actually two injured people in the car. I arrived on scene and helped get these guys out of the car as the medics arrived. They both had open lacerations on their upper arms and thighs, one had a large chunk of his upper arm missing. They claimed they had been attacked by a guy with a machete in a nearby apartment complex.

1024.Machete.ms.030413Soon we discovered a bloody machete in the backseat of the car, seems these guys had also participated in the knife play. I went to the apartment complex they described. I went to the end of a long complex with a couple of my other partners and I could see a guy on a metal chair slumped over and staring at the ground. As we approached I could see his right arm was filleted open down to the bone, he was bleeding heavily and a woman was bringing him a towel. The parking lot had blood everywhere and a short distance from where he was seated was another bloody machete and a back pack. The guy in the chair told me he had been jumped by two guys with machete’s. He managed to dis-arm one of them and gave as good as he got. All three of these guys were career criminals and while I don’t know the real reason for the fight I’m certain it involved money, drugs or both. The crazy part of the whole thing? The guy in the chair also had a handgun. He pulled it out when the the machete twins charged him and never got a shot off. Maybe he could’ve shot these dudes in the leg, or shot the blades from their hands. Surely, as the adage goes “never bring a knife to a gun fight”.  I guess someone never told these two wanna-be samurai

The mainstream media and the ever vocal politicians want to scream and yell of the evils and the dangers of guns and then in the same breath want to convince the world cops don’t really need to shoot people, we should talk things out or shoot to wound. I have seen many many articles and discussions about the 21 foot rule, and the speed with which an assailant can attack as well as the reaction time of a trained officer vs an armed assailant. The amazing thing is, the officer always is at a disadvantage. All the training, practicing and hours of scenario’s only serve to try and even the field. In the cold cruel world the reaction time of the an officer will never be faster than the action time of an assailant. When the bad guy makes up their mind to do something the cops will always be on the wrong end of the second hand.  Reaction times and distances are critical when dealing with the unknown, something illustrated very will in this article from Chicago Warrior.

This is the reason cops are often heavily criticized for “heavy-handed” tactics. When you watch the video from your cozy living room and see two of three cops jump on a guy for “no good reason” you yell those guys should be fired, that poor young man was just talking. What people fail to understand is part of the training and practice to even the reaction table is also learning and looking for indicators. Experience is the best teacher, if you get enough chances. Every patrol cop out there can remember the first time they knew a guy was going to run before he did. Why? because of the the other ones who exhibited a behavior (which the officer missed) and the dude cut and ran. “Shit”, I’ll know better next time. The experience builds and soon experienced officers develop, well a “Spidey-sense” of sorts.

I have been a training officer in the field, I have watched new patrol officers miss the little details, the minor tremors of muscles, the twitch of an eye right before a guy gets ready to run. The tell-tale movements of a guy who is going to fight. The solution? Act first, act fast and act decisive, overwhelm the subject and live to learn. It doesn’t always mean shooting or beating someone, but it does mean making a choice and making it NOW. It means moving before you are reacting, I already told you if the bad guy moves first, the cop is already behind, it works both ways it just isn’t TV show pretty in real life. It is messy and awkward, but we don’t send officers out into the streets to be slaughtered. Just look back the pictures posted here, this is what happens when you are on the wrong end of the reaction equation. I don’t know the story of any of these officers, but one thing is sure, they were on the wrong end of the the game.

This is a knife wound story, this is what a knife will do, this is why cops don’t shoot to wound or shoot weapons free. The equation is very simple, shoot center mass and shoot to stop the threat…..the threat that will allow me and my partners to go home at night, the threat that will allow others to remain blissfully unaware of what goes on in the dark corners of the night, and the threat that allows others to criticize and second guess everything we do based on a TV script and special effects.

Stay safe, and make sure you go home every day!

-Doc

Blame shift

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I read this article earlier this morning, then I walked away from it and I read it again this evening. When I read it the first time I was instantly frustrated, my nerves were a bit raw form the past week. Every time I looked at my news feed another officer shot, BLM marching in the streets, Beyoncé glamourizing the Black Panthers, another officer shot, the president visits a mosque, presidential hopefuls spewing anti-police bullshit, another officer shot- the white house silent.

I am dumbfounded by the state of our country, divided we stand; one nation apart from one another separated and preyed upon by a machine seeking power and feeding on corruption. It only took one or two events to get here, it really wasn’t a long road. One or two incidents sensationalized at the expense of unity. Incidents which on their face and in their local communities would have gone unnoticed in the big scheme of things, but somewhere, someone grabbed onto the narrative and twisted it up and spit it out the other side creating a boogeyman.

This boogeyman was no ordinary badguy. He wasn’t a gangbanging crackhead following you down a dark alley or a faceless meth-addict smashing the glass of your back window to take your jewelry. This was the face you were supposed to trust, the symbol that brought sanity to chaos the uniform that kept you safe while you slept. The narrative was twisted and perverted to make you believe your trust had been misplaced. You began to wonder, became suspicious and then felt foolish.

Beatings, listening devices, stingrays, license plate readers, military vehicles and targeted shootings…..that’s what you were told. How could you have been so naïve to put your trust into something so terrifying. One misstep, one red light camera, one slip of the text and you could be the next victim shot down with your hands in the air, never a chance to explain your side, another pile of candles and stuffed animals to mark the spot where you were erased by those who you were supposed to trust.

It happened quickcute_riot_by_angusmcleod-d5n3qfn, it was easy, it was a distraction from the reality of the ghetto in your neighborhood where faceless boys slaughter one another, blameless and with no accountability. Someone needs to be responsible, someone needs to be held accountable. Guns are the problem, cops are the problem, prison is the problem, punishment for drugs is the problem and mental health issues are the problem….nobody is accountable, someone must be made responsible.

So they were. The very people who sign up to protect us from the real boogeyman have been molded into the boogeyman. The unaccountable, the racists and the faceless cowards have pulled the thread that bound the fabric of “US” and unraveled a large section. Its not a new tactic, it is a timeless effective way to control the masses. Fear and prejudice are a powerful combination they are self sustaining, the perfect fuel to keep the fires burning to keep us from seeing we are more similar than we are different.

Keep the focus on the details, never looking at the bigger picture, that’s the way you sustain it. Pretend you are in this for the noblest of reasons. You simply want to help; to help the down trodden the poor suffering people, just not in your neighborhood. Keep the focus on the diversity and not the commonality, what better way is there to sow mistrust.

None of the preceding talks directly of the article which inspired this rant. The article was just another straw on the pile. Police officers “Moon-lighting” as security, “why were they there at all?”. The medical staff would have simply use “soft” restraints to secure the subject. “they had no idea guns could be used against patients”. “I’m Manic, its not my fault” I don’t remember anything I did but I remember everything everyone else did.

We have a mental health epidemic in our country there is no denying that fact. However, at what point does it turn around? At what point do we excuse every single action? Drugs create similar manic episodes. Any cop will tell you what bad dope does to someone on the edge. Its not pretty and it can be frightening. Its not about the color, its not about the race, it is about the actions.

The world needs to stop blame-shifting. I don’t know how the hopes, fears and concerns of the welfare recipient in the ghetto anymore than they know mine. I know the basic human need to survive and be loved. I know that given the opportunity we all want to accomplish something. When the ability to provide and accomplish is taken away from us, we simply exist…..we were not made to exist. We need to accomplish we need to matter we need to something meaningful.

Don’t blame the cops when you call for help and you don’t like the way it goes. They have families too, they have just as much right to go home too. They have hopes and dreams and fears too. They will run to help you, they will do whatever it takes to save you and each other. They will go to the dark places and come out to assure you its still ok. They will make mistakes, there will be missteps. Its unfortunate, but it happens. Seldom on purpose and usually without malice. Those of us who do this job do it because we answer to a drive inside to make things better for us, our friends, our families and complete strangers. Its not glory or power and any of that nonsense. It is a desire to make things better, to find order in the chaos.

This article fans the flame of distrust, it tugs at the thread a little more, and it pulls away looking for an answer and to assign blame somewhere other than the person responsible.

I don’t know if this makes sense to anyone else, it certainly is not where I thought I was going with this post, but sometimes the words have a mind of their own.

Be safe all my brothers and sisters in blue. Let the rest of us please focus on our sameness and not our diversity. We can repair the damage and be whole again.

-Doc

Calling All Libertarians

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Calling all Libertarians.  I am a registered Republican, but I do not agree with everything that Republican leadership pushes.  I describe myself as a “Tea Party Republican with Libertarian leanings.”

As a conservative, you and I have much in common, at least according the principles laid out on the Libertarian Party’s website. We both want small government, believe in a free market, and strongly believe in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.  We agree on freedom of speech, on gun laws, on healthcare, and we are pretty close on immigration.  The biggest issue that we disagree on is our foreign policy.

As a Libertarian, at least in my best estimation, you and I share FAR more in common, that you do with the Democrats.  Please correct me if I am wrong.

Now, understanding those differences and similarities, one must then begin to examine some recent history, and the American electoral system.

There are a number of presidential elections that have occurred during my time in which the election was lost to the Democrats due to the Libertarian vote.  I do not mean that as an insult, but it is merely stating a fact.

The presidential election in 1992 was won by Bill Clinton who had 44.9 million votes.  Meanwhile, George Bush had 39.1 million and independent (essentially a Libertarian) Ross Perot received 19.7 million.  Had Perot not been in the running, it is can be easily argued that Clinton would have lost.

The election of 1996 had similar results, although much less clear cut as far as the final effect, thanks again to Ross Perot.  Since 1996, the Libertarian vote has had less of an impact on presidential elections than in those two years, but it still has had an effect.

With that in mind, I sincerely ask for your help.

In the primaries, please vote your heart; vote based on your principles.  Push for policies that you agree with, champion the causes you support.  In fact, you should do that all year long, as I’m sure you do, since by and large, Libertarians are far more involved and knowledgeable about what the government is doing that most Democrats or Republicans.  That said, when it comes to the actual election, please, Please, PLEASE vote for  the candidate who more closely shares your values, but also has an actual chance to win the election.  I am not saying which candidate that is, because only you know, but if history tells us anything based on empirical data, that winner is not remotely going to be the Libertarian candidate.  Sadly, it is just a matter of numbers.  Please realize that at this time, a vote for a Libertarian candidate is no different than 1) not voting at all or 2) a vote for the candidate that you dislike the most.

Please, vote with your head this election, not your heart.  There is a stark difference between the Democrat candidates in 2016 and the Republicans.  While the final nominees have yet to be chosen, the difference between flushing the country down the toilet and at minimum, treading water in the still full bowl, could not be more pronounced.

The Definition of Insanity

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I swear to God, I am in the freaking Twilight zone!   There is no other plausible explanation.  Nothing makes sense anymore.  California, the same state that in 2000 passed the 3 Strikes law, which eventually led to a steady decrease in violent crime, has recently set about intentionally, voluntarily undoing all the good that was done by those stricter sentences.

It started in 2011 when Governor Moonbeam, sorry, Governor Brown signed AB-109 into law.  It was sold to the public as “Prison Realignment” and a way “to close the revolving door of low-level inmates cycling in and out of state prisons.”  What it really was was the State dumping their lowest level offenders out of prisons onto the counties from which they were sentenced.  The county jails, which were already full, in turn had to dump their lowest level offenders onto the streets to make room for these state prisoners.  It was not done for any of the halfway noble reasons that they are trying to claim, but instead was done purely as a money saving measure for the state.  California’s prisons were “overcrowded” and the state had two options, build more prisons or release prisoners.  The Democrats in charge chose the cheaper route, not the public safety route.

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California crime rates over the years

Then, in 2014, the idiotic, uninformed voters of this once fine state voted Proposition 47 into law.  Proposition 47 was sold to the public as the “Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act,” but in actuality, it had nothing to do with anything it was sold as.  The day after it passed, I wrote an article in which I lamented the lack of wisdom of the voters, and in which I predicted a rise in crime.

At that time, I wondered to myself if that was what going insane felt like.

Well, just last week, I read an article in which the results were in, and are you ready for this?  Shocker, the cops were right!  According to the FBI, between 2014 (when Prop 47 was made law) and 2015, California experienced a 12% rise in Violent Crime.  Note that is in violent crime, not non-violent.  At the time I read that article, I quickly threw together an article in which I said “I told you so.”

You know, we cops seem to understand the same thing that voters in California back in 2000 understood;  when criminals are locked up and not on the street, the crime rates drop.  I mean really, it is not rocket surgery, or is it?

einstein-memeWell, it must be, either that of Governor Moonbeam is lacking a brain, because only five days after the article announcing the 12% rise in violent crime came out, another article was published.  This latest article talks about how Governor Brown just last week “proposed a ballot measure to make it easier for nonviolent offenders to gain parole.”  Yep, you really did read that correctly.  The crazy old man who is running this state, who has already pushed through two bills that released convicted felons, and reduced many felonies to misdemeanors, including possession of a stolen firearm, is now pushing yet another bill to release even more convicted felons onto the streets…  Brilliant!!!

You know, because I guess a 12% increase in violent crime is not enough?  You really cannot make this stuff up.

This, THIS has to be what going insane feels like!

As I said back on Nov, 5 2014, there is a real easy way to lower the crime rate and drastically reduce the prison population.  Just legalize everything and pardon all the prisoners.  What a wonderful world this would be, with no one committing crimes and no one in prison.  Imagine how much money the state could save…  Imagine how much more money Moonbeam could then dump into his high speed train to nowhere…

Don’t dream of complaining about thefts, or burglaries, or rapes, robberies or murders.  Making those no longer illegal solves the problem, don’t you know?

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Personally, I am imagining fleeing this moronic state that is run by liberal lunatics, who are in power thanks to uninformed voters too dim to learn from their own mistakes, as evidenced by repeatedly passing laws that have quite literally hurt the very people who voted for those laws.

Please, for the sake of everyone, please listen to what I am about to say.

Releasing people from prison does not magically make them good people!   There is no magic wand that instantly turns a convicted felon into a nice, law abiding person.  Decriminalizing crimes, in order to lower prisoner populations, does Not Prevent Crime, or make anything safer, let alone schools or neighborhoods.  In fact, leaving those criminals on the streets makes things less safe, as is evidenced by the recent rise in violent crime.

We know what works.  Locking up criminals prevents crime.  The original 3 strikes law, and the reduction in crime that followed, proved that.  Can we please start acting like we live in the real world and not some imaginary utopia that does not freaking exist?!